Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Richest Contracts In Team History: AL Central

Who has the richest contracts in AL Central history?

Billy Shaw is one of the greatest Buffalo Bills of all time. From 1961-1969, Shaw was a constant member of the Bills’ offensive units at the left guard position.

Up next in the “Richest Contracts” series, we have the AL Central. The AL Central has been rather quiet when it comes to big contracts. Only one team in the AL Central has big contracts totaling more than $300 million. While there is not huge money in the division, the talent is still there. That being said, let’s check out the richest contracts in AL Central history.

Chicago White Sox

Largest free agent contract: Yasmani Grandal, C (four years/$73M, 2020)

Largest contract extension: Yoán Moncada, 3B (five years/$70M, 2020)

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

First up, we have the Chicago White Sox who have spent the least money on big contracts. Chicago has quickly become a solid team in the AL overall and not just in the AL Central. Money-wise, they are not big spenders but yet they have some high-value talent. As far as free agent deals, Yasmani Grandal was with the Dodgers from 2015 to 2018 but tested free agency and landed in Milwaukee for one year. Once he landed in with the White Sox they inked him to a long-term deal and he is now one of the best catchers in baseball.

As far as extension deals, Moncada has become a consistent player for the White Sox. Moncada arrived in Chicago via the trade for Chris Sale. His best season was the 2019 season and after three years in Chicago, he got a long-term deal. Moncada is also one of the consistent foundational players for the White Sox currently. While these deals are not like a Mike Trout or Bryce Harper, they produce and earn their money.

Kansas City Royals

Largest free agent contract: Alex Gordon, OF (four years/$72M, 2016)

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Largest contract extension: Salvador Perez (four years/$82M, 2021)

Next, we have the Kansas City Royals who also have been relatively quiet with their checkbook. If you followed the Royals through their 2014 and 2015 postseason runs these names should not surprise you. The Royals journeyman Alex Gordon having the largest free-agent deal is not surprising. However, after winning the World Series in 2015, it looked like Gordon would not be returning. But after negotiation, he signed his four-year deal and after 2020 retired as a Kansas City Royals legend.

For contract extensions, yet again we have a household name in KC. Salvador Perez has become one of the best catchers in Royals history and the MLB. Perez is set to start his $82 million deal after leading the MLB in homers (48) and RBIs (121). “Salvy” will likely be in KC for life much like Alex Gordon so get used to his name being relevant in baseball. Again, not huge contracts but they went to players who earned every dime.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Cleveland Guardians

Largest free agent contract: Edwin Encarnación, 1B/DH (three years/$60M, 2017)

Largest contract extension: José Ramírez, 3B (five years/$124M, 2022)

Now we move on to the newly named Cleveland Guardians. While they have spent a little more than the White Sox and Royals, it isn’t by much. Edwin Encarnación came to Cleveland in free agency after eight years in Toronto. During his time in Cleveland, he put up two 30-homer seasons. But he would not finish his deal in Cleveland as he was traded to the Mariners in a three-team deal.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

As far as contract extensions, this deal is brand new for the Guardians. Star third baseman José Ramírez inked his franchise-record deal right before the current season. His $124 million deal more than doubles the previous contract record held by Encarnación. Cleveland also exercised the fifth-year option for Ramírez keeping him with the team through 2028. After trading away Fransisco Lindor, the Guardians were looking for their next superstar and I think they found it in Ramírez.

Minnesota Twins

Largest free agent contract: Carlos Correa, SS (three years/$105.3M, 2022)

Largest contract extension: Joe Mauer, C (eight years/$184M, 2010)

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Now we are getting into the big spenders of the AL Central and up first we have the Minnesota Twins. The Twins have seen big deals recently. Then, they inked one of the biggest free agents this past offseason in Carlos Correa. Correa made a surprise move by signing with the Twins on a three-year deal worth $105.3 million. This deal became a reality when the Twins traded away Josh Donaldson clearing $50 million in cap space. Donaldson held the original free agent record with his four-year, $92 million deal. Now the Twins have to decide if Correa can be afforded past those three years.

When it comes to contract extensions, this one does not surprise me at all. The long-time Twin Joe Mauer signed his eight-year deal back in 2010. Mauer’s contract is the largest in total value for any catcher ever. Mauer spent 15 years in Minnesota so that $184 million deal was well spent and worth it. The only “transaction” line on Mauer’s contract is “drafted first overall by the Minnesota Twins”. That folks is loyalty and commitment to a franchise.

Detroit Tigers

Largest free agent contract: Prince Fielder, 1B (nine years/$214M, 2012)

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Largest contract extension: Miguel Cabrera, 1B (eight years/$248M, 2014)

Finally, we have the big spenders in the AL Central, the Detroit Tigers. Detroit landed near MVP winner Prince Fielder in 2012 on a mega deal. However, after only two years in Detroit, he was traded to the Rangers. One of the biggest free-agent deals recently for Detroit was the signing of Javier Báez to a six-year $140 million deal. The Tigers have spent $462 million on these two players, which is nearly $200 million more than the Twins.

With contract extensions, the Tiger’s record deservingly goes to one of the best hitters ever. Miguel Cabrera was traded to the Tigers in 2007. In 2012 and 2013, Miggy won back-to-back MVPs leading to him signing his mega-deal. Cabrera also just eclipsed 3,000 hits recently showing his first ballot hall of fame career has been worth every penny. The Detroit Tigers might not have the postseason success but they sure have spent the money. Did you expect the Tigers to be the big spenders? I sort of did but not by this much.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Want more MLB content? Check out our website here and check the website for the next division’s richest contracts!

Written By

Born and raised in Independence, MO, 24 years old. 2020 Bachelors Degree in Sports Media from Northwest Missouri State. Sports nut who enjoys bringing information and entertainment to the public!

Stadium Rant Recommends


Former Cy Young winner Trevor Bauer was recently released from the Los Angeles Dodgers. Where could he go next?


On Wednesday, the Boston Red Sox agreed to a super deal with one of their All-Stars for the foreseeable future. So how does this...


The New York Yankees upgraded their pitching staff last week, and it has the potential to be one of the best in the MLB.


The San Francisco Giants struck out on Aaron Judge, but they did find themselves another big-time player.